Sales continue “blah” trajectory in February

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by John Jackson Miller

[Originally posted at  Comichron and reprinted with permission.] 

February appears to be returning to form. The release ofDiamond Comic Distributors‘ data for the month was delayed by snow days and other scheduling issues, and the unusually harsh winter appears to have cast a chill on comics sales. Comics shops in North America ordered close to $37 million in new comic books, graphic novels, and magazines in February, down 6.71% from a year ago. The figure is still up 3% from February 2012.
February has historically been either the lowest or second-lowest volume sales month for the Direct Market: publishers in the past have tend to offer fewer titles than at other times of the year, and customers (and sometimes the comics!) have more difficulty reaching stores. This month saw 692 new releases, the first time in months that figure has been below 700. There were 30 fewer graphic novels released in February versus in January; more comics were released, but fewer magazines.

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Comics sales were off nearly 15% in units and more than 10% in dollars:Batman #28 was the leader of the list.

Graphic novel dollars were up 2.83% over a year ago. Unit sales were led by the Locke & Key Vol. 6: Alpha and Omega hardcover. Based on its position in the unit sales rankings, odds are the $75 Infinity hardcover may come in at or near the top of the list in dollar sales. Graphic novel units were up by a much greater amount, which suggests that this month again had a high volume of graphic novels sold at greater-than-usual discounts.

The aggregate changes:

DOLLARS UNITS
FEBRUARY 2014 VS. JANUARY 2013
Comics -5.48% -4.47%
Graphic Novels -4.48% 5.98%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels -5.17% -3.65%
FEBRUARY 2014 VS. FEBRUARY 2013
Comics -10.39% -14.77%
Graphic Novels 2.83% 14.99%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels -6.71% -12.83%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2014 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2013
Comics -5.53% -11.18%
Graphic Novels -6.69% 3.16%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels -5.89% -10.15%

The top-selling comic books:

1 Batman #28 $3.99 DC
2 Forever Evil #5 $3.99 DC
3 Wolverine #1 $3.99 Marvel
4 Superior Spider-Man #27.Now $3.99 Marvel
5 Justice League #28 $3.99 DC
6 Superior Spider-Man #28 $3.99 Marvel
7 Fantastic Four #1 $3.99 Marvel
8 The Walking Dead #121 $2.99 Image
9 The Walking Dead #122 $2.99 Image
10 All New X-Men #23 $3.99 Marvel

The top-selling graphic novels:

1 Locke & Key Volume 6: Alpha & Omega HC $29.99 IDW
2 Fatale Volume 4: Pray For Rain $14.99 Image
3 Adventure Time Volume 4 $14.99 Boom
4 Invincible Volume 19: The War At Home $16.99 Image
5 Saga Volume 1 $9.99 Image
6 Star-Lord: Annihilation Conquest $7.99 Marvel
7 Infinity HC $75.00 Marvel
8 My Little Pony Tales Volume 2 $17.99 IDW
9 Revival Volume 3: A Faraway Place $14.99 Image
10 The Flash Volume 2: Rogues Revolution $16.99 DC

The market shares:

Publisher Dollar Share Unit Share
Marvel 34.10% 37.36%
DC 28.73% 31.12%
Image 7.85% 8.88%
Dark Horse 6.61% 5.59%
IDW 6.01% 5.00%
Dynamic Forces 3.51% 3.40%
Boom 2.05% 1.94%
Eaglemoss 1.28% 0.27%
Zenescope 1.05% 0.99%
Valiant 1.02% 1.08%
Other 7.78% 4.38%

And the number of new releases:

Comics shipped Graphic novels shipped Magazines Shipped Total shipped
DC 85 26 0 111
Marvel 69 32 0 101
Image 48 11 0 59
Dark Horse 39 19 0 58
Dynamic Forces 50 8 0 58
IDW 40 17 0 57
Boom 24 6 0 30
Zenescope 14 2 0 16
Valiant 9 2 0 11
Eaglemoss 0 0 4 4
Other 65 101 21 187
Total 443 224 25 692

Look for the full data to come. And check the Comic Shop Locator Service to find a comic shop near you!  

Comments

  1. Lots of people say less titles is a good thing. I’m not so sure.

  2. Doctor Comix says:

    The weather really hurt reorder activity, which impacted the bottom line. I couldn’t get to the comics store (nearest one is a 25 minute drive) due to all the snow so I really dug into Comixology. Now I’m hooked. There’s no way I’m an exception here. I bought a ton of books I never would have tried on the stands.

  3. Comixology has become my go-to way to try out a new series. If I really it, I add it to my pull list. But since it’s a mail order list (I don’t have a local shop), trying out new stuff on the tablet is just easier.

  4. Skottie says:

    “Lots of people say less titles is a good thing. I’m not so sure.”

    It is. A single strong Spider-man book is much better than four weak Spider-man books.

  5. Snikt Snakt says:

    “It is. A single strong Spider-man book is much better than four weak Spider-man books.”

    These days its quantity over quality…

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